Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ingrid Michaelson Turns The Lights Out

It's hard to believe that Ingrid Michaelson is on her fifth album. It's crazy as I remember her as a wee lass (ok maybe not), but this singer songwriter has managed to survive and embrace her unique approach to the genre and make it sustainable. While she's become popular through the "Targetization," of her music, her style and ability to switch between sentimentality and a good pop hook is what she should really be recognized for.

Lights Out, her latest album, is an effort that takes the best bits of Tori Amos and Marina & The Diamonds and smashes them together. The results are a sweeping pop record that bounces from clever uses of electronics to sad, intimate ballads within in a single bound. Whichever style she uses she's exceptionally transparent and personal. You can almost hear the pain in her voice at times or feel the exuberance coming through on her more upbeat moments. I'm not really the biggest fan of the genre, but she definitely has the knack for writing a quirky pop song and when she does her pop sensibility is sharper than a razor blade. Lights Out is a fun listen that grows on you with repeated spins.

Whether it's a minimal use of instrumentation or a layered production of sugary sweet pop hooks, Ingrid Michaelson grabs hold of your ears and refuses to let go. She's quirky, she's cool, and she can write a good song with the best of them. Her album might be called Lights Out but after spending some time with this record it's obvious that her career five albums in is anything but lights out. In fact it's on a trajectory that's hard to keep pace with or turn off.

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